Forging links for students and the offshore wind industry

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 10 May 2017

A NEW link between a school and one of the region's leading offshore wind companies will aim to put pupils "in touch with the real world".

Healing School has forged the partnership with MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, with expanding opportunities for the next generation of workers at the forefront of the science academy's vision.

In a progressive move which will hopefully create work experience and apprenticeship opportunities at MHI Vestas for Healing students, staff from the offshore wind giants will work with students to develop career opportunities through offering workshops, talks and tuition on how to take the best next step after school.

The school has already created successful similar links with the likes of BAE Systems, Halifax bank and British Steel.

MHI Vestas are responsible for constructing the Humber Gateway offshore power plant, 8km off Spurn Point, and employ hundreds of people from Northern Lincolnshire to work across HR, health and safety, accountancy, engineering and more.

Nikkita Hershaw, careers and enterprise co-ordinator at Healing School, said: "If students gain contact with four employers whilst at school then they can earn up to 16 per cent more when they leave to get a job.

"The idea is to help students develop career opportunities and understand the importance of key links to employment. Sometimes students struggle to see the connection to the real world and have no idea of the opportunities available to them.

"I hope this partnership can help pupils understand what's available to them."

Jenny Vincent, enterprise co-ordinator for the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has been a key player in facilitating the link and carries out similar work in schools across the area. She said such partnerships are also beneficial for businesses who have a demand for a skilled workforce.

She said: "It is so important for young people to understand the local labour market and how they can play a part in boosting the economy.

"The renewable industry is a game changer in the Grimsby area and it needs the skills of a workforce to ensure the growth of the sector."

One of those who has managed to forge a career with MHI Vestas is former Healing School student Emma Mason.

Emma, 34, has worked for the company for three years and believes that an increase in exposure to career opportunities will arm the next generation with a greater perception of what to expect once they leave the classroom.

She said: "When I was at school none of this existed. It's great for young people to think about the future. We have the knowledge to tell pupils what careers are out there. We will work with them to build skills and encourage them to explore more options.

"Apprentices are incredibly important to our company. They diversify the workforce and come up with amazing ideas."

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